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PM Modi holds review meeting of Kuwait fire tragedy

June 13, 2024 2:31 AM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting of the Kuwait fire tragedy in New Delhi on Wednesday (June 12).

At least 49 people were killed in Kuwait on Wednesday (June 12) after a fire broke out in a building housing foreign workers, with Kuwait’s deputy prime minister accusing property owners of committing violations that contribute towards such incidents.

The nationalities of those who died were not immediately disclosed by local authorities. India’s ambassador visited hospitals where workers were being treated for injuries sustained in the fire.

Several Indians, including from the southern state of Kerala, were reported to have died in the fire, according to a letter written by Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to foreign minister S. Jaishankar.

Low paid, blue collar workers in the Gulf often live in overcrowded accommodation. Local authorities did not disclose what kind of employment the workers were engaged in, though like in other Gulf states, Kuwait relies heavily upon foreign labor in industries like construction, including from South and Southeast Asia.

Emir Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah ordered an immediate investigation into the cause of the fire and said that any officials found responsible would be held accountable.

The interior ministry, which said the death toll had risen to 49, was investigating, searching the site for victims and working to identify those who had died, state media reported.

PM Modi described news of the fire as saddening in a post on social media platform X.

“My thoughts are with all those who have lost their near and dear ones. I pray that the injured recover at the earliest,” he said.

The fire in Mangaf, a city along the coast south of the capital Kuwait City, was reported to local authorities at 6 a.m. (0300 GMT), Major General Eid Rashed Hamad told state television. It was later contained.

(Reuters)

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